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When a photograph is taken at the scene of a murder, the camera is tossed out of a castle window to destroy the evidence and lands in the back of a passing car belonging to chemist John Gray who becomes an amateur sleuth after developing the film, and goes in search of the woman captured by the photograph. When the camera is stolen from his laboratory, Gray's suspicions are further aroused.
Delightful mystery featuring lively characters and a clever plot
A unique opening sequence: a camera tumbles over a rocky ledge and lands in a car passing along the road below. The car's owner discovers the camera on arriving home; as he happens to have a darkroom, he decides to develop one picture from the camera in the hopes that it will lead him to the camera's owner. Instead he develops what appears to be a photo of one man stabbing another.
It's an unlikely scenario, but this picture is so well staged and performed that we hardly notice; the pace never lets up in this very entertaining mystery with excitement, romance and humor.
Henry Kendall is wonderful as the slightly nerdy hero who dives rather playfully into his investigation but displays both wits and persistence as the case develops in unexpected directions. He finds an additional clue when he develops the remaining pictures—a young woman standing under a street sign. He speaks with delicious irony to his assistant as they study the photograph: "The heroine of a mystery drama is always a ravishing creature." And eventually he tracks down .
Ida Lupino, the young woman in the photograph. They strike up a quick rapport and banter easily; but does she know more than she's telling about the brother who owned the camera and has seemingly disappeared? Lupino is truly excellent—bright, charming, deceitful, worried all at once. Not a bad leading lady performance from an actress who was only fifteen years old!
The dialog is good, the delivery perfect. Some neat camera work is also worth mentioning, especially the tense scene where the brother is finally tracked down—flashlights in the dark dart back and forth, eventually finding his form and then his frightened face. John Mills, also very young, is the brother in trouble.
A very stylish and witty production.
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